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Court Adjourns Hearing In Kano Mosque Arson Case

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The Kano Upper Shari’a Court has adjourned hearing to July 4, 2024 in the trial of 38-year-old Shafi’u Abubakar who is standing trial for setting fire to a mosque, resulting in the deaths of 21 persons.

The tragic incident occurred on 15th May, 2024 during the Subhi (Dawn) prayer around 5:15am at Gadan Village, Gezawa local government area of Kano State.

Abubakar allegedly poured petrol on the mosque before igniting fire with 40 worshippers trapped inside.

Fourteen (14) persons were initially reported to have died from the tragic incident, but the death toll has since risen to 21 as more victims succumbed to the cold hands of death while receiving treatment at Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital in Kano.

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Other victims that sustained varying degrees of injuries are still receiving treatment at the hospital.

The defendant is facing a three-count charge that border on mischief by fire, causing grievous harm, and culpable homicide, all in violation of sections 336, 247, and 221 of the Kano State Shari’a Penal Code Law. Abubakar has pleaded guilty to all charges.

During the court proceedings, Prosecution Counsel, Mr. Salisu Tahir, informed the court that they had received the case diary from the police.

“The death toll of the victims has risen from 14 to 21. We seek another date to enable us to file a new charge to include the exact number of victims and present our witnesses before the court,” Tahir stated.

Following a court order on May 20, Barr. Auwal Abubakar from the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria has been appointed to represent the defendant.

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The presiding judge, Malam Halhalatul Huza’i Zakariyya, ordered the prosecution to provide the defense counsel with all relevant case details.

The judge then remanded the defendant in a correctional facility and adjourned the case until July 4 for further hearing.

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